Nissan to Import Korean-Built Rogue Crossovers to U.S.

By Jacob Brown | July 20, 2012
Recently, Nissan has shuffled its car, truck, and SUV lineup from plant to plant in North America to better streamline what each one makes and cut down on costs. The Japanese automaker is continuing its plan, but now on an international level as it shifts most of the production of its Nissan Rogue crossover from Japan to South Korea. The move marks a $160 million investment by Nissan to transfer 80,000 units of production to Nissan-Renault's Busan, South Korea, plant where it currently produces mostly Samsung cars for the Korean market in a partnership with the electronics giant. But of late the relatively limited audience for such cars has forced Nissan to bleed through cash as Busan has gone under-utilized and its Kyushu plant in Japan has become more expensive as the yen has strengthened against the dollar. Such currency problems have forced all Japanese automakers to rethink their manufacturing plans, moving them closer to where the cars are bought to control fluctuations. With the Nissan Rogue moving, the automaker will have more room to produce its Tiana sedan, a Japanese version of the Altima; X-Trail, which is based off the Rogue; and Versa sedan, known as the Sunny in Japan, for its domestic audience. Last year, Nissan sold nearly 125,000 Rogues in the U.S., all of them built in Kyushu. According to Nissan's plans, the production shift will begin in 2014, likely just as the second-generation Nissan Rogue rolls out. Source: Reuters